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Switching from American system to IB (grade 11) general questions

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So I just finished grade 10 in an American system, I had it for two years. From grade 11 I'm switching onto IB and I have several questions. So I heard about CAS, we had community service at our school and for grade 9 and 10 together I received 45 hours. Will they count as part of the 150?  Second questions is what is exactly TOK, I know what it stands for but I'm kind of confused? And last is about my subjects. Please tell me what they are like and what to expect and if I seem prepared?

English HL (I like reading a lot and we had a lot of analysis essays at my school)

Psychology HL (Kind of excited tbh but not sure what to expect)

History HL (I'm not looking forward to this at all, my mom signed me up for this one. Also in my school we mostly focused on the states... is that a big problem for this course since I don't have a lot of background info?)

Biology SL (I wanted to take this in HL but ya... what is this subject like? Is it similar to regular bio in American schools or is it a lot more expanded? Cause that is what I'm looking for since I took biology in grade 10)

Mathematical Studies SL (I'm really bad at math so the lady that we talked to said that it is best if I choose this one)

Spanish SL (I'm kind of annoyed about this one cause I have to take it from the beginning and I took this several times so I will know all the basics and a little more (at my old school I was in Spanish 2 at the American system)...anyone else had something like that?)

I wanted to take photography or film since I'm really interested in them but my school only offered visual arts and I suck at art, is this normal for IB schools to have this little options? Oh and what should I expect from this? What are the exams like? I heard that there are retakes and points? Oh and I'm totally up for the challenge, I enjoy learning and hope that this will help me learn more.

Edited by edy739

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We do have a search bar on top of the page, so try it and see if you get some detailed threads. It seems that your coordinator has not given you an adequate introduction to IB. 

1) Most schools I've heard you need to allocate hours specifically for CAS. There is no more 150 hours requirements. You just have to do enough to demonstrate that you met 8 learning outcomes, such as "undertaking new challenges" or "planned and initiated activities". 

2) ToK is an introduction to epistemology. Some questions you might have a discussion on: is literature absolutely subjective and physical sciences absolutely objective? How can knowledge be derived from an argumentative piece of writing? How can be spot and avoid leaps in logic (logical fallacies)? What do we gain or lose when we associate a word to an event or a phenomenon? Does art provide something more than visual pleasure? 

3) These are quite common courses so if you give our search bar a go you can find lots of stuff. I believe there is a Photography option in IB Visual Arts, as a couple of the art forms from the possible selections. There is no IB Photogrpahy course as of yet. Each subject has a "guide" that gets updated around every 6-9 years. It lists the topics you are expected to learn and be assessed upon. We have those in our Files > General IB Downloads select IB Syllabus and Data Booklets. You can expect IB courses generally be around levels of AP rather than regular US curriculum. Language B (Spanish for you) are mostly for people with some experience in the language. For assessments, you will have oral presentations, "spontaneous" (20 minutes preparation) discussions, creative essays, reading comprehension, and produce ~400 words from a choice of topics in around 1.5 hours. Language B averages are higher than most other courses. 

4)  Schools are not required to have a minimum number of selections. Usually a school may choose to offer at least 8-10 courses (not counting HL/SL as separate). My IB school has 3 decades of experience and only offers 11 courses (without any Group 6 arts or Math Studies). Of course, you can also choose to not take a Group 6 but another course from one of other groups, except for math

5) I am not sure if your school pays IB for you but retakes do cost a lot of money. You can score up to 45 points in IB, 7 for each subject and 3 from ToK/Extended Essay. 

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We do have a search bar on top of the page, so try it and see if you get some detailed threads. It seems that your coordinator has not given you an adequate introduction to IB. 

1) Most schools I've heard you need to allocate hours specifically for CAS. There is no more 150 hours requirements. You just have to do enough to demonstrate that you met 8 learning outcomes, such as "undertaking new challenges" or "planned and initiated activities". 

2) ToK is an introduction to epistemology. Some questions you might have a discussion on: is literature absolutely subjective and physical sciences absolutely objective? How can knowledge be derived from an argumentative piece of writing? How can be spot and avoid leaps in logic (logical fallacies)? What do we gain or lose when we associate a word to an event or a phenomenon? Does art provide something more than visual pleasure? 

3) These are quite common courses so if you give our search bar a go you can find lots of stuff. I believe there is a Photography option in IB Visual Arts, as a couple of the art forms from the possible selections. There is no IB Photogrpahy course as of yet. Each subject has a "guide" that gets updated around every 6-9 years. It lists the topics you are expected to learn and be assessed upon. We have those in our Files > General IB Downloads select IB Syllabus and Data Booklets. You can expect IB courses generally be around levels of AP rather than regular US curriculum. Language B (Spanish for you) are mostly for people with some experience in the language. For assessments, you will have oral presentations, "spontaneous" (20 minutes preparation) discussions, creative essays, reading comprehension, and produce ~400 words from a choice of topics in around 1.5 hours. Language B averages are higher than most other courses. 

4)  Schools are not required to have a minimum number of selections. Usually a school may choose to offer at least 8-10 courses (not counting HL/SL as separate). My IB school has 3 decades of experience and only offers 11 courses (without any Group 6 arts or Math Studies). Of course, you can also choose to not take a Group 6 but another course from one of other groups, except for math

5) I am not sure if your school pays IB for you but retakes do cost a lot of money. You can score up to 45 points in IB, 7 for each subject and 3 from ToK/Extended Essay. 

 

Thank you for your reply! Everything makes a lot more sense, as you said for the subjects I will look for them specifically in the search bar. : ) Ya the person that I spoke to was in a rush so she did not explain IB in details to me. 

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